Monday, May 23, 2011

The Rapture Prophecy and Why It Failed

Once again as expected yet another prophecy of the return of Christ and the rapture has failed to come to fruition. Harold Camping prophesied that on May 21,2011 this incredible event would without fail become a reality, and as we all know this did not happen. So, what went wrong?

The very first thing that went wrong is that since the bible in its entirety is nothing but a book of myths it is logical that myths aren't real and thus we can never expect them to come true. But for this post and for the sake of argument I would like to explain to everyone from a Christian perspective why this prophecy and any others made in the past or in the future will not come to fruition ever!

As always I will be using the New Jerusalem translation of the bible for any and all text citations. In referring to the end times Jesus gave his apostles a list of signs that would indicate to the believers that his imminent return was near and in closing he added :'But as for that day or hour, nobody knows it, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son; no one but the Father.'Be on your guard, stay awake, because you never know when the time will come. (Mark 13:32,33).

Camping in his justification for knowing when the rapture would be to the date, was based on his clever manipulation of old and new testament texts quoted out of context. He stated on his web site that those that were saved and walked in the spirit would know because of their standing with God. He also stated that because of this the above mentioned quote did not apply to them. But as you can see Jesus was speaking to his followers directly and the very last sentence confirms that this was an admonition to the church specifically.

The specific scripture that refers to the rapture is found in 1 Thessalonians 4:16,17 it basically states that the dead in Christ shall rise first and then those that remain shall be taken up to meet the Lord in the air give it a read when you get the chance. Putting aside the stupidity and not to mention impossibility of this event ever occurring let's continue proving that the bible teaches that even the "saved" will be caught unawares.

In Luke 17:33-37 Jesus once again referring to the rapture states basically that two people will be in a field and that one will be taken and the other will remain. Obviously the ones taken are the believers and true followers of Christ. I have shown that according to the very scriptures themselves that the Christians claim to believe in no man be he believer or unbeliever will ever know the date of the return of Christ or when the rapture will occur.

Harold Camping claimed that believers had the inside track on this information but the various texts that he quoted on his website were all referring to so called "spiritual truths" and did not apply to the rapture or the return of Christ. Believers are told in the scriptures to be watchful for the signs of the times and that those signs would signal that he is near but they are never given a specific date.

In closing if you as a believer choose to accept the nonsense that is written in the bible as fact, at least have the decency to read your bible so that you know what it is you are believing in. Stop following so called prophets speaking of things they no nothing about. I was surprised to see on Harold Campings page that he claims to have diligently studied the bible for over 50 years yet he could not get this simple teaching through his head.

'Be on your guard, stay awake, because you never know when the time will come. (Mark 13:33).

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Christian intolerance

One of the many problems I have with Christianity is its absolute intolerance for other religions or worldviews. Christians love to call atheists arrogant and smug etc. but in reality these are perfect descriptions of the christian spirit. The bible is chock full of prejudices based on what the authors believed to be their gods standards of morality. Have you ever noticed how these views reflect those of all views that are common to the middle eastern man? The bible clearly discriminates against women, gays, other religious beliefs, in the case of the O.T. all non Jews, and a slew of other things.

Christianity was founded on intolerance: this is evident from its original source of Judaism. When God supposedly called the Hebrews out of Egypt the first thing he had them do was to conquer the so called promised land and its inhabitants. And one of the first commands on every conquest was to destroy their temples and altars to heathen gods. After the christian church had the support and power of the Roman government they continued the tradition of eradicating any an all other religions that were not Christianity. When they ran out of religions to kill then they began establishing their own theology and began destroying other Christian groups who were not in agreement with their interpretations of the scriptures.

First Kings chapter 18 tells a horrendous story regarding Yaweh (God) and his intolerance for other religious beliefs. Not only this but it also demonstrates how the biblical deity ordered the murder of 450 men for serving as prophets to Baal. The people were given the chance to choose to serve God but the prophets were not. Jews and Christians have carried out this tradition throughout their entire history, yet some try to attribute all the crimes committed by the church not to God but to the men that committed them.

In reality, they are just following the precepts as taught in the scriptures which they believe to be the word of their deity. They are following the examples such as the one I have presented in the book of 1 Kings chapter 18. In the Old Testament it was okay to kill in gods name. The New Testament believers just kept those old traditions alive as they were establishing and building their theocratic empire. Seen in this context one can understand why Christians are so bigoted and intolerant to any an all things that do not fall in line with their prescribed belief system.

In the context of the crusades this same spirit of intolerance was used in a political manner as well. They used the power of the Roman Empire to destroy all those that opposed their teachings and views. In conclusion the Christians were doing what their biblical ancestors the Jews have been doing for thousands of years.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

The word of God! Really?

I have been thinking about this issue for the past few days, just tossing around a few ideas regarding the claims to the divine origin of the scriptures. How do we know that the bible is the word of God? Well for starters because its authors tell us so. 2 Timothy 3:16 says that "All scripture is inspired by God and useful for refuting error, for guiding people's lives and teaching them to be upright."(NJB)

As you can see the bible promotes itself. We are supposed to accept by faith that it is the word of God because it says so right there within its pages. How ironic, because all of the books that have ever been written claiming divine inspiration all say the same exact thing. The Old Testament, the Koran, and the New Testament all claim somewhere within its pages that they are inspired by God in some way or another.

The other alternative is to rely on the so called experiences with the divine that many adherents of the three main faiths claim to have had. There is only one problem with this, if this is true then all of these experiences can be categorized as of an subjective nature. Because the experiences don't happen because one religions indoctrination is truer than the others but rather on what you as an individual choose to believe. Or as is most commonly the case was brought up and taught to believe.

All three of the worlds major religions claim to have some sort of divine origin coupled with testimonies by its adherents to having experienced their version of god and divinity. They can't all be true and judging by the many differences within the texts regarding god, heaven, hell, etc. they just go to show that all religious beliefs are nothing more than the creations of man and are entirely subjective.

There is no word of God since in my opinion God or gods of any kind do not exist. I find it hard to believe that people in today's modern age still believe in the story of a dying, resurrecting, and returning messiah. Outside of religion these beliefs would be mocked and laughed at, but in the context of religion they are revered and taken as truth. Man is logical till he accepts religious beliefs once he enters that realm he must abandon his logic and cast away all common sense to make sense of the senseless.

The O.T. borrowed heavily from many Babylonian myths, the Christians borrowed heavily from the Jewish traditions in the O.T., and to this day Christianity continues to transform itself as it faces all of today's modern discoveries in our various fields of scientific study.

I am a positive atheist in that I don't believe in the existence of God or gods of any kind. I don't feel the need to prove or disprove my convictions since I see no point in trying to convince believers that God does not exist. Atheism is a choice and a growing process that you make on your own based on your own convictions and studies. It is a slow process and not everyone makes it through without some residual effects caused by years of indoctrination.

I feel that the Bible, and the Koran do not teach anything at all about life and morals that we as a species could not have learned on our own from our parents and our societies. There is nothing divine in those books nor revelatory, it is rather a reflection of mans joys, fears, struggles, etc. It is a product of the fertile mind of man and thus it has mans fingerprints all over it.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Christianity = Insanity

I would in this post like to put into perspective what I deem some of the most insane ideas of Christianity. Let's start with the alleged death of Jesus the Christ (whose existence is dubious at best), Christians believe that he is the son of God, and at the same time God himself, in this case incarnate in the person of Christ. He supposedly had a ministry on Earth that was about three years in length and was convicted of heresy and blasphemy. As a result of this conviction he was then sent to be crucified under Roman law for his crimes. After having hung on the cross a few hours he dies and is put into a tomb. Three days later he is found to be no longer in the tomb and it is believed that he has risen from the dead.

The first problem is that Christians believe today that he was buried on a Friday and rose on Sunday. By my count that does not count as three days since the last time I checked three days was equal to 72 hours. Next, several insane things happened immediately after he allegedly died. Others that were known to have been dead rose and were seen walking the streets of Jerusalem by many. Matthew 27:52,53 (NJB). For some reason according to this telling of the tale seeing a bunch of dead people strolling through town in their burial garments did not seem to startle anyone. And you never hear what happened to these people afterwards. Did they go back to their tombs and go back to their eternal sleep, or did they have another chance at living?

According to the scriptures Jesus was seen after his death as resurrected aside from his followers by over five hundred people according to Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:5-8 (NJB). Lucky break for him that they were all conveniently illiterate or else we would have had much more evidence of his existence outside of the scriptures themselves thus negating faith. After having died and resurrected he then promises that he will come back during that age at some undetermined time and warns his followers to be watchful.

The gospel according to Matthew 24:3,14,29,30,34,and 36 if you have the time read this chapter and the verses I have noted. These are all signs of the end times and there is one verse in particular that I think reeks of superstition and is revealing as to how ignorant these people were of astronomy. Verse 29 states that "the sun will be darkened, the moon will not give its light, the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. The verse that follows states that then we will all see him (Jesus) coming on a cloud with great power and glory (somehow we survive all this). These are supposedly the words of Jesus to his disciples in a private little chit chat they had on the Mount of Olives.

Here is the problem: apparently, Jesus had no idea how the sun emitted light, nor that the moon never had any light since its light is just a reflection of the suns light off of the lunar surface, nor that stars themselves were actually suns since they all begin to fall. Even if we were to grant that it meant that there would be solar eclipse where the moon would block out the rays of the sun, it still cannot explain how the stars would begin falling from the sky.

As you can see in order to be a Christian you have to go against established scientific facts about the universe and the world we live in to accept its doctrines as truth. In a normal context anyone who believed in these or similar ideas would be considered insane and delusional. I am interested in seeing what the theistic response to some of the points I have outlined in this post would be.

To be a Christian is to be intellectually dishonest with oneself and at the same time in my opinion to completely abandon your faculties of reason. Faith is the ultimate equalizer in that based on faith nothing has to make any sense at all to be true nor require any evidence to sustain it.